It's been awhile, I'd say!
As life has seriously picked up steam lately blogging just seemed like such a daunting task. Where do I begin?! There's just so much going on - most days I feel like I'm doing all I can to keep my head above water.
As mentioned in my previous post, I did buy a house. And as of last weekend, I sold my condo! It's been a long, quasi exhausting process trying to buy a fixer upper, work with a contractor on renovations all the while stressing out about selling my condo. And in an interesting turn of events, I ended up selling my house nearly fully furnished! While the buyer was the one who initiated the deal, I must say I'm somewhat relieved I don't have to deal with a huge move - AND - I'm pretty excited to buy some new furniture. In fact, thanks for a dining room sale from World Market, I just purchased my very first big girl dining room table! Hello Holidays :)
The thought of getting friends and family together around a big table to eat, drink and be merry puts a HUGE smile on my face. I ended up ordering the Arcadia Extension Table which was on sale from $700 to $500. Considering it seats up to 12 people, it's a great deal! Here is a picture of the large, rectangular wood table. I love the thick pillars and the fact that I can keep it closed, or open it to its full length for holiday dinners!
To lighten things up since the table is quite dark, I purchased Ecru Evelyn Upholstered Chairs to go along the sides, and am currently waiting on some Winged back chairs for the heads of the table.
I never thought I'd be the owner of a 1960's ranch home - I've always been a fan of new construction. BUT after starting my house hunt and realizing I was going to either sacrifice location or home age, I decided to stick with the location I wanted and buy an older home. I've actually had fun (albeit stressful fun) picking out flooring, counter tops, cabinets, tile and such. I have a LONG list of projects I want to tackle - and given the fact that I am NOT handy myself, I'm slightly overwhelmed at the idea of tackling everything but I know Rome wasn't built in a day, and there is plenty of time to make it my own. Buying a single family home has been on my mind constantly for the past 4 years... and after long enough of saying "I"ll buy a house once I meet someone," I'm relieved I finally had the courage to just go for it. I'm trusting in g-d's plan for my life - and while I still of course hope it involves meeting an amazing man and building a life together - I'm no longer depriving myself of a large life goal.
And speaking of... I am trying to train my mind, similarly to how I train my body, and take matters of the heart slowly for a change. Single since February, I've spent a good amount of time reflecting on past relationships - what worked, what didn't, what I liked about myself, and what I needed to work on. Time and time again I realized I jump head first into someone. I let attraction and passion take over and by date 3 I'm in a full blown, talking constantly, texting hourly, relationship with no substance. Truth is, chemistry is fairly easy to find. You can spot tons of people you find attractive. You can go for dinner, share a bottle of wine, overtly flirt, and jump into something without taking the time to decide whether or not you even like the person - or know them for that matter!! So this time around, I'm doing things differently. Abstaining from alcohol while on prep has helped, as my inhibitions aren't lowered and dates aren't centered around drinking. And while I did "swear off dating" to a certain extent earlier this summer to focus on my competition and myself, great things do happen unexpectedly. And for a change, I'm going to keep this one close to the chest - but I will say someone has come into my life that has raised the bar and changed the way I want to approach a relationship. I'm giving it time to develop and space to evolve, because for the first time in a very long time, I honestly believe it's worth it :)
And, for an update on competition prep. Well folks - I'm 8 weeks out! Sometimes I can't believe I only have 8 weeks left, and other days I can't believe I STILL have 8 weeks!! It's been a LONG journey.... and I can't lie and say it's been easy. I miss eating without weighing my food. I miss treating myself to Twizzlers or a burger "just because." I miss being social and having cocktails with friends. With all that being said, this is hands down the most confident and proud I've been of this body of mine. I feel physically strong and sexy - my clothes no longer fit and I catch glances of muscles I never knew I had. While I'm still nervous my abs won't come in time for my show, I've worked my ass off (literally) and I think the progress is showing. I really couldn't imagine doing this without the guidance and support of my coaches Steve and Rachel, along with the encouragement and support from my fellow competitors. The girls are so sweet - I'm lucky we all lift each other up and constantly offer support. If anyone has ever thought of competing, or simply getting in the best shape of their life, I'd seriously recommend working with House of Payne. They're incredible (and I'm not just saying that because Coach Steve told me to leave the gym and have a cookie the other day!!). They make me feel like they genuinely care about me - in and out of the gym. Monday was such a tough day for me emotionally, I actually got in the car and drove 40 minutes just to see them face to face and get a hug!
I haven't been the best with posting progress pictures, so here are two from this week. I think leaning out overall has been the biggest change.
As always, thanks for supporting me through this journey. As my workouts get longer and diet gets tougher, it means SO much to me receiving words of encouragement. Yesterday I received a super sweet and special gift from a dear friend. She took the time to write encouraging notes on a stack of post-its for me to stick on my plastic tupperware containers. This morning the words of encouragement put a smile on my face as I left for the gym at 6 am :) So to Erin and all of the other amazing friends I am so blessed to have in my life- I appreciate and love you all.